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Crawfordsville Struggles With Diversity In Remaking Its Human Rights Commission

J. Stephen Conn

Though he’s had a couple dozen people express interest in serving on the city’s reconstituted human rights commission, Crawfordsville Mayor Todd Barton says there’s a problem: almost all of them are white.

“I am struggling with it a little bit because when I look at the group, we’ve had some really good people express interest and I’m excited about that," Barton says. "My primary concern: there’s not much diversity in that group and that does trouble me somewhat.”

The commission fell into disuse some years ago and now city officials must find a dozen people to populate it.

But in a town where about 90-percent of people are white, Barton could have trouble diversifying the panel’s membership.

He says he’d like to add members of the city’s Latino community, who make up about 8-percent of the population.

All other racial and ethnic minorities make up just 2-3 percent of residents.